Sunday, December 1, 2013

Once a Caregiver……and so Care Partners Resource was born.

I want to thank each and every one of you who voted for us on Facebook during the office makeover contest conducted by  RK Dixon a market leader when it comes to copiers, printers, IT services and pure drinking water systems. We didn't win the $15,000 office makeover prize but, as a result of your efforts, the camp is a winner of a much needed $1,000 printer.

The following was published in the October/November RRSC NewsLetter. I'm reproducing it here for those of you who are not getting our newsletter. Feel free to click on any of Lori's links. They lead to some very helpful web sites.

Once a Caregiver…
by Lori Cavallo, Volunteer

You know the old saying “once a … Always a … “ I have found that to be true of the Caregivers I have met since I was introduced to the term 12 years ago. My mother survived a stroke which left her paralyzed on her right side and an expressive aphasic. All terms I had not heard before July 20, 2001. But after caring for her for eight years they now flow from my tongue like any other caregiver who has taken an active role in the recovery of a loved one. The moment I got the call my life and vocabulary were forever changed.

Like many caregivers I have taken my experience and am trying to make a difference in the world. I built a free website for caregivers (www.carepartnersresource.com) and I became certified to teach therapeutic
writing. I teach caregivers techniques to use their journal as a source of therapy and find solutions to their everyday caregiving challenges, with a heavy focus on writing a care plan that includes self-care. I have also become involved with National Stroke Association where I co-authored The Careliving Guide
(http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=careliving_guide) and helped start an online support group (http://careliving.stroke.org/) where caregivers help each other find resources or simply express their feelings so they are not isolated and alone.

Another way I try to make a difference is by volunteering at Stroke Camp. Marylee and John and everyone from Refresh & Retreat Stroke Camp are another example of taking the Stroke experience and turning it into a positive way to change the world. If you have gone to camp you know exactly what I mean and if you have not yet had the opportunity I hope to meet you at a camp next year.

Take your experience and make the world a better place. To read an article Lori wrote for StrokeSmart Magazine about camp, go to: http://www.strokesmart.org/new?id=164

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DIRECTOR’S CORNER
by Marylee Nunley, Executive Director

As our camp season is coming to an end for 2013, I can’t help but reflect on the wonderful time we’ve all had traveling the country enjoying time with stroke survivors, caregivers and volunteers. We have grown to the point that I can’t attend all the camps, even
though I wish I could. That is where our band of volunteers step in and execute camp weekends with professionalism, love, and dedication. It is a privilege for all of us to spend these weekends hearing stories of recovery, progress, accomplishments, and yes, frustrations and setbacks. Our campers have given me a rich knowledge of so many things that I otherwise wouldn’t know. It is my hope that everyone reading this, no matter what’s going on in your life, will take the time to focus on the good things and be thankful. And now read on and enjoy some things that our campers had to say this year!

"It was a very uplifting experience for us."

"What I liked most about Stroke Camp was how unselfish the 
volunteers and staff were to me!" 

"Such wonderful, nice, generous people to give of themselves to 
help stroke survivors. They are angels."

"We had a great time all weekend. We were so glad we went. Thank you so much for caring about us!"

"I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend-the staff and people were 
wonderful. It was an eye opening experience for me. Thank you to 
everyone who worked to put this together."

"This was my 3rd camp and the best yet. I honestly believe you 
could add the word “vital” to your list of adjectives. -- Thank you we had such a great time! It helped us look more easily into the future of our recovery."

"It was a wonderful, educational, entertaining and inspirational experience. Best weekend I have had post stroke."

"I liked the fact that everyone seemed happy to forget their 
problems and just have fun."

"It was extraordinary far reaching and beyond!"

"We had an outstanding time. We tell everybody about the camp. 
Will come back next year. Thanks so much."

"We didn’t know what to expect, but it was better than anticipated. It was a really great experience."

"Thank you-we had such a great time! It helped us look more easily into the future of our recovery."

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